Marc Cruz 8-29-00 He lay in his bed motionless, reflecting upon his life and how it had changed so quickly. He had lost his mother to an evil cocaine addiction a year earlier and was left to take care of his younger brother. The rent was 3 months over due, the phone was cut off, and the electricity was most likely next. He had reached the point were he was fed up with life. Why had he been put in this position? He put most of the blame on his mother for she had been the one who had spent all of their money on drugs.

But still he didn't understand why he had to be responsible for his mother's actions. What really enraged Maurice, was how selfish his mother was. She would rather get a quick high than ensure that her family was taken care of. But these thoughts occurred in his mind night after night. And each night he would come to the realization that he cannot escape from the grips of poverty. The only possible option for him was to work hard for the pennies that he was being paid.

The alarm clock was blasting. Maurice woke up and looked at the time. It was 9: 32 am and he was a half hour late for work. In a panic he put on his shoes and ran out the door. He knew once he got to work Tony, the restaurant manager, was going to chew him out. He had been late earlier that week and Tony told him that if he was late one more time he was going to give Maurice the axe.

So he began thinking of a good excuse to tell the boss why he was late. But his attention soon shifted when a 1999 Mercedes Benz SLK 400 sitting on twenty-inch chrome rims pulled over about 50 yards in front of him. His sprint slowed to a walk the instant he laid eyes upon the jet-black beauty. He kept walking towards the car trying to see who the owner was. To his amazement a young man, around his age, stepped out of the car.

He knew at that point this guy didn't earn his money the true American way; hard work and discipline. He had to have been a "Mob Pawn". They were called this because the mob used them to do most of the work and were sacrificed in many situations just so they could win the "chess match". These were the guys that sold drugs to the local crack-heads around the neighborhood and also made hits for the people that owed the mob money. After the fall of the "Five Families" in New York, some of the mobsters got together to continue a drug ring that had failed years prior. They hired these kids because they just didn't care if they lived or died.

On many occasions, these kids were killed by the bosses themselves over a job not done right or failed to reach their quota. Maurice looked closely at the young man and knew he looked familiar. The young man called to Maurice by name and waved him over. Maurice hesitated to respond. The young man told him his name and Maurice remembered him.

It was De Juan Mills. He attended grade school with DeJa un at PS 71. They exchanged hugs and greetings. De Juan had heard about Maurice's mother and offered his regards. Maurice then asked him how he was driving such a nice car.

De Juan explained to him that it was his bosses and he had to go wash the car and fill it with gas but had decided to first handle some business. He asked if Maurice wanted to join him and told him he give him some money to come along. Maurice told him that he was already running late for work and if he didn't get there soon he would most likely end up fired. De Juan asked him why was he wasting his time making minimum wage at a smelly restaurant. He told Maurice that he was making in a month what Maurice would make in a year. Then De Juan asked if he would like to run with him on some of the jobs and if Maurice did good, he would introduce him to his boss set him up with his own area to cover.

Now this was exactly what Maurice was looking for. He needed an escape from this life of poverty. This was the answer to all of those questions that kept him up night after night. He could finally make enough to pay the bills and take care of his brother.

Even though he was always raised that there was no real easy way out, he knew that he couldn't survive living like he was much longer. Maurice didn't think this was the "easy" way out but rather that he had been pushed to this extent. He began to think about his mother and how she was the one that did this to him. She had been the one who left him to thrive on his own. In thinking this he convinced himself that this was not only the thing he had to do but also the only choice his mother had left him. So he accepted the offer from De Juan.

One month had past and Maurice had fit the stereotype of a mob pawn perfectly. He was selling cocaine in his own neighborhood and meeting his quota for the month in two weeks. His boss rewarded with him a 96 Lexus ES 400. His life had completely changed in that short amount of time. He had become the kind of person he never wanted to be but loved the life he was living. Maurice went up the stairs to the apartments third floor.

He had to pay one of De Juan's customers a visit since he was out of town. A young boy about the age of nine answered the door. Maurice looked at the kid and could tell that he was mal nourished. He asked the kid if his mother was there and the kid pointed to the only bedroom in the apartment. Maurice opened the door to find the kids mother lying on the bed drugged up. At first he did as usual and tried to wake her up to let her know that she owed De Juan some money.

He decided would look around the apartment and see if he could find any money. Maurice looked and saw that the young child was staring at him. At that point Maurice looked back and could see the pain in the child's face. He remembered that his younger brother used to have the same look about him when his mother was hooked on cocaine. Maurice got choked up and almost began to cry. Maurice could remember when he would walk into his mother's room to find her in the same position.

Scared and worried that she wouldn't ever wake up again but he couldn't show his pain because he had to be strong for his brother. At that point Maurice knew he couldn't live with what he was doing. He was causing the pain that he hated so much on other families. He didn't want to have any one have to go through the same situation as he did. Even though he knew he could stop any one from using cocaine he just couldn't be involved. He had to go back to his boss and tell him that he would have to find some other pawn to do his work.

But at the same time he knew he could approach the situation in that manner. He would have to say that he was leaving town or had some other interests in life. Maurice walked in the room confident that he was doing the right thing. He thought his plan was a great idea. He would tell his boss that he was moving to California to take care of some family business.

And that is just what he told him. But his boss didn't want to take any chances and thought that Maurice was working with the FED's. He didn't tell Maurice that but rather said he'd give him money for the plane ticket. Maurice took the cash and was relieved that his plan had worked so well.

Maurice turned around and took to steps towards the door. The boss then said, "Aye, Maurice say hello to moth a for me". The mob boss then fired two bullets hitting Maurice in the head. He then stood over Maurice and in a low evil voice said, "Just another pawn.".